News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local Interest

April 14, 2009

Valley bowler spinning high scores with two-handed approach

TERRE HAUTE — Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.”

That famous quote fits 25-year-old Australian bowler Jason Belmonte perfectly, proving there is an alternative way to knock down 10 pins. In March, he became the first two-handed player in Professional Bowler’s Association history to win a PBA Tour title.

Much closer to home, 20-year-old college student Austin Marsh, a native of Anderson, has been terrorizing local lanes with his version of the two-handed delivery for the past two seasons.

Marsh, an Ivy Tech student who plans to transfer to Indiana State in the near future, is averaging more than 230 in three different leagues at the Terre Haute Bowling Center and Imperial Lanes.

Is there an advantage by bowling with two hands?

This style creates more hook and power than the traditional one-handed delivery. Because two-handers use one hand to roll the ball and the other to support it, they can keep their bowling hand under the ball longer. That positioning lets them generate extra rotation, hook and power on the ball and more options to play the lanes, translating to more strikes and higher scores.

Belmonte developed this unusual style as a toddler growing up in his parents’ bowling center in New South Wales, Australia, bowling with bowling balls that were too heavy to throw with one hand.

He inserts just the middle two fingers of his right hand into the ball, and using his left hand to guide and spin the ball, he is able to generate hooking power very few one-handed players can match.

“I am pretty much a self-taught bowler,” Belmonte said.

On the other hand, or should we say on both hands? Whatever. The story is much the same for Marsh.

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